FlyingKids Activity book review

The summer holidays are fast approaching so now is the time to plan how you might tackle the boredom that will soon reach your kids when the screen time runs out or you have a long journey to make.

Electronic devices are all well and good but too much screen time is not good. Plus the batteries run out and they are much harder to share. Which can be a big issue in our household. So I’m old schooling it this year, when I hear them tell me they are bored. You may have read before about my love of an activity book. Well we got the opportunity to review another one from FlyingKids and I think it will definitely be a hit this summer.
The beauty of an activity book is that can be shared, spread out on the floor and coloured from both sides. Oldest closely sticking to the correct colours and within the lines. Youngest freestyling it.

Plus they can teach them something. I love to listen to the eldest reading to my youngest facts about the different countries and picking out things especially from Spain where we will head to this summer.
My advice for a less stressed summer. Pack some activity books and pens, whenever you are out and about. Cafes or airports they are a great thing to share with your kids and prevent the boredom moans.
I was sent the FlyingKids Activity book for free in exchange for my honest review. You can read more in my advertising and disclosure policy.
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What’s in my Fridge?

This post was inspired by one I read on Lylia Roses excellent blog.
Post original published on Brain Fud.
I am nosey, I will happily admit it. I love to know about people and especially about what they like to eat. So when people post pics or blog posts about their cupboards or fridge contents I can’t help but read and savour the pictures. We are all so different and our eating habits reflect that. Whether it’s your busy lifestyle or your training programme dictating what you eat. Or your health needs and ethics you can see it all inside your fridge.

So I thought enough poking about in others it’s time to share
what’s inside mine.
The contents of my fridge don’t just reflect me but the rest
of my family so it can appear to be a bit of an odd mix.
I’m vegetarian and so are my children, hubby is a meat eater
but not in the house. I’m coeliac but everyone else eats a normal diet. I’m
also just starting to eat dairy after being lactose intolerant for years, now I
am recovering from the damage done by coeliac disease.
Top shelf.

Flavour centre, I love to cook with things that add extra
flavour. You will always find pesto (vegetarian and gluten free) in my fridge,
along with mustard, (wholegrain and Dejon). I love to throw sundried tomatoes
into salads and love the kick you get from ginger in baking and stir fries. I
am also loving eating natural yoghurt and sour cream again after being dairy

Mid point.

The middle of my fridge is a bit of a random jumble, it’s
where I tend to store veg that can’t fit in salad drawers, such as my leeks and
rhubarb. It’s also where you’ll find fresh coffee, which my hubby loves but I
can’t stand. I am a tea girl all the way. My kids love fromage fraise and my
hubby loves jelly in his lunchbox! We also have to buy free range eggs in the
jumbo packs as we get through 15 in a week.

You might spot that there are two lots of Margarine and two
lots of butter, that’s because I have to keep mine separate to avoid crumbs. I
have been known to have a melt down over someone using my butter!
The doors

Someone once told me you shouldn’t leave your milk in the
door as it’s not the coolest part of the fridge, but I have no idea where else
we could store it. The fridge is always packed so in the door it will have to
stay. The boys drink a lot of milk and we get through roughly twelve pints a
week. Although I’m starting to eat dairy again, I still prefer the taste of
soya or almond milk in my smoothies and on my granola. I also love to use maple
syrup as a sweetener and often have at least two strength grades in the fridge.

The green drawers.

This is always packed and often over flows onto other shelves.
I try and eat as seasonal as possible, but the kids often dictate. That’s why
you’ll always find tomatoes and grapes in the fridge no matter what the time of
year. This week I’ve also bought baby corn, asparagus which has just come into
season, broccoli, kale, red cabbage, spring onions and French beans. So the
menu this week is full of risotto, stir-fry and soup.

So I’ve shared the contents of my fridge what do you think?
Is your fridge very different to mine?


Hotteeze heat pads review

Since having kids I’ve been plagued by a bad back. I have put it down to having SPD in my pregnancies, carrying my kids around for far too long. I still carry the four year old sometimes! Staying in one position either sitting or standing for long periods of time.

Whatever the reason and to be fair its probably a combination of all of those things. Sometimes my back can have me looking like an old lady and that really shouldn’t be the case at thirty seven. I am not one for reaching for the painkillers so up until now I had often been seen with a hot water bottle shoved down the back of my jumper.

Now I’m getting ready to return to work, that’s not really an option. So these Hotteeze heat pads I was asked to review may just be the answer when I need some relief to my aching back.

They just stick to your clothing and start to warm up by themselves. It’s just as good at relieving the ache as the hot water bottle was but without the bulk. It claims to provide 12 hours of heat so far I’ve had my first one on for about four hours and it’s still giving me a warming glow at the base of my back.
I was sent these Hotteeze heat pads for free in exchange for my honest review. You can read more in my advertising and disclosure policy.
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What's New

Festival Ready Look book

Festival ready is a phrase I’ve been hearing a lot recently. I even heard it was I walked in the playground the other morning. But what does it mean? Well to the dad who used the phrase it seemed to be that his kid was wearing a hat and sunglasses. For me I think it requires a little more thought. Your festival look should revolve around two major things. Which festival your attending and what the forecast is going to be.

Festival season has now officially begun and so far we have had really good weather, so fingers crossed that lasts for the whole summer. I’m planning on attending Lakefest which is on a smaller scale and is very family friendly. So this will be my look for Lakefest.

So from top to bottom I am wearing, crop top by Enchanted Rebels
Shorts by butterfly by Matthew Williamson at Debenhams.
Sandals by Dorothy Perkins
Plus a whole load of bangles that I’ve had for donkeys years.

I am loving the woodblock style print and pinks and blues print on my top from Enchanted Rebels it’s made from 100% cotton so will keep me cool and I love the great fit. Plus £1.00 from every garment in their organic collection is donated to lend with care, a fund used to help budding entrepreneurs in developing countries.

It goes so well with my new shorts from Matthew Williamson. I love the tassel ties at the front and the sliver diamond mirrors down the sides. If you want to add the tasselled look to your shots take a look at my tassel tutorial.
Finally these sandals have got to be my favourite summer item. Hubby got them for me and I just the the pop of colour they bring to any outfit. I know they have heels but they are chunky and Lakefest is small. I’m planning on spending most of my time hanging out at the kids field watching the boys get crafty.

I was sent my top from Enchanted Rebels in exchange for my review. You can read more in my Advertising and Disclosure policy.

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The best places to visit in Worcestershire with kids – Whitley Court

So this week we have hopped over the boarder into the next county on our exploration of the best places to visit in Hereford and Worcestershire with kids. That’s the perfect thing about where we live almost straddling the two counties means we have so many great places to visit. Whitley court has long been a favourite of hubby and me.
 We used to drive right up to it when we were in our teens and explore it at night. These days you aren’t allowed to do that and thankfully English heritage have been working hard on it to preserve what remains of the once splendid country house.

Now it is a place we love to share with our boys too. Easy to get to, just 10 miles outside of Worcester. You now arrive a short distance away from the house with large car parks and once through the ticket office, you have a choice of walks to take you us to the house. If you are keen to see the house straight away there is a direct route. However we love to stroll through the woodland walk and take a stop at the great place areas and tree houses that are built amongst the wood.

The boys love exploring these areas and it’s a great way to burn off some energy if you’ve been in the car a while.

Once they’ve used up some of that energy, we often head to the house and it’s magnificent fountain, which fires regularly during the summer months. A great spectacle and perfect on a hot day, if there is a breeze the boys love to run and stand where the spray is blowing.

So much to explore it’s worth allowing the whole day if you can. It’s a great place for imaginary play and hide and seek.

There are also lots of great spots for picnics, our favourites are near the play area where we can watch the boys while we have a rest. I don’t know how they keep on going! There is a visitor centre where you can buy teas and cakes, but we like to do our days out on a budget and bringing a picnic really keeps the cost down for a family of four. Plus you get so much more space and you are guaranteed that everyone find something their can eat!

My final recommendation for having great day a Whitley court would be to take the Lakeside walk if your children are a bit older. Mine are four and eight and stop and visit the ducks. They are so friendly and the boys loved feeding them their crusts from our picnic lunch.

Have you got any recommendations for the best places to visit in Worcestershire with Kids? I’d love your ideas.
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Learning to Fake it

Review post for LA Tanning*

I have to admit I love a tan. I have two looks that my colouring suits. Pale and majestically looking Irish through out the winter months and much more Mediterranean through the summer. In my teenage years I would think nothing of lying out in the gardens baking myself to get the med look. Now I know better and prefer to save my skin and what’s left of my youth and fake it.

I have only ever had one experience with fake tan, up till now and that was when I was probably about 19 and bought the cheapest bottle and could find. Slathering myself in it and waking up the next morning to find myself streaky orange from head to foot. Needless to say I didn’t bare my skin for a week and vowed never to touch the stuff again. Since then I’ve only ever used gradual tan and had relatively little problems with it.

However summer is here and I can’t wait days for my tan to appear, I want it now! So I was so pleased when LA Tanning asked me to review their new tanning mousse.
I will admit I was a little nervous. I read and re-read the instructions and followed everyone to the letter. I loved the exfoliating sower gel with its great scent of lemongrass and it left my skin feeling lovely and soft even my terrible mum knees!

The mousse came out darker than I was expecting and I tentatively started working from head to foot trying to get even coverage. The tanning mitt really helped spread it evenly and also ensured I didn’t get tanned palms! Waiting for five minutes for it to set was probably the worst bit.

When I showered it off, I was so pleased with the result. A lovely light golden tan with no streaks. My only mistake was not getting hubby to do my back and I had one small triangle where I just couldn’t reach that had been missed. But these days I rarely wear anything backless so I’m not worrying.

What do you think.
Here is the before pic

Here is the after photo. I wore the same dress so you could compare. I love my new colour and feel ready for summer.

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I was sent samples from LA Tanning to review in exchange for my honest opinion. You can find out more by reading my advertising and disclosure policy.

Epic Mommy Adventures

Day out at the Royal Three Counties


Thanks to the Royal Three Counties for the tickets.

I think it would be fair to call myself a country girl. Having grown up and living in Herefordshire for nearly all my life. So deep within my heart is a love for all things rural. When I’ve been away I have missed the smells and the sights of the lush green countryside. For most of my childhood there was one rural event that was clearly marked on my calendar as marking the beginning of summer and that was the Royal Three Counties show.

  Day out at the Royal Three Counties
Both myself and my hubby loved visiting the show as children, seeing all the stands, tasting all the foods and meeting all the animals. So we could hardly deprive the kids of something we both had enjoyed so much.
Day out at the Royal Three Counties


A lot has changed since we visited the Royal Three Counties as children. The most significant being that it is now on a weekend rather than mid week. When I was at school, so many children attended the show that the school used to shut for the three days! You’d never have that happen now. There is also a lot more shopping stand than before. However the main attractions for us remain. Tractors, Food and animals!

Day out at the Royal Three Counties
It was a blazing hot show this year and we probably did a lot more sitting around than we have done before. But it gave us chance to picnic and enjoy some of the great spectacles in the main area.Day out at the Royal Three Counties










The farm machinery was a hit with both the boys and we literally had to prise the youngest away from some of them. That night he said he wanted a tractor for Christmas ‘not a toy, a real one with keys please’. I’m not sure Santa will be able to fit that in his sack.

Day out at the Royal Three Counties

Is the royal three counties worth a visit?

I would recommend that you visit the Royal Three Counties at least once. It’s a great opportunity for the kids to get up close to the rural farming community and there is definitely enough to keep you all occupied for the whole day. The only downside for us was that we were defeated by the heat and had to give in after four hours. Back to the car laden with fresh strawberries and cherries and lots of pictures of tractors.
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Butoonies review

This is a review post for Craft Yourself Silly*

Are you in need of some ideas to keep the kids occupied though the summer holidays? My youngest who is four is still quite easily amused, give him the paddling pool and he’ll stay in it all summer given the chance. My eldest who is eight is quite different and once the allotted half and hour of screen time is up, I can often hear his lament of boredom echoing around the house.

So when we were asked to try out these new Buttoon-ies craft kits made by Craft Yourself Silly I thought they would be perfect for my eldest. He loves lego and small world imgenary play and these little characters would be perfect for that.

So we sat down together one afternoon, whilst the youngest was busy watering the garden. (Another one of his favourite summer activities). I must admit I’m glad I did sit with him and not just give him the packs as they are quite tricky to make, even for skilled lego building hands such as his.

If your child has had no experience threading before I would recommend that they have ago trying that skill first as they might find it very frustrating watching the thread bend away from the button hole as my eldest did.

He nearly gave up all together but with some help and a division of the jobs, he read the instructions, sorted the buttons into size order and directed me whilst I did the threading. We soon had our first little character created. Both kids love this little chap and he has since been involved in some great adventures.

So what if he didn’t make it all by himself, I much prefer something we can do together and his sense of achievement in the task was not diminished. He’s looking forward to building some more with me soon. I just need to get some pot plants for the youngest to water!

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I was asked to review these Buttoon-ies in exchange for my honest opinion. You can find out more in my advertising and disclosure policy.

Epic Mommy Adventures

100 hashtags for creative bloggers

I’ve being hearing a lot recently on twitter about how engagement is really low on Instagram and lots of people are struggling to keep or gain new followers. At the moment I can’t agree. I have been working really hard to grow my following and I think it’s down to me upping my game with my hashtag use.

I’ve been setting myself Instagram goals in my monthly stats roundups and this month I set myself the task of getting to 1000 followers. Not a big ask, some of you may think but until recently I had really struggled to gain any new followers.
Since I started noting my stats my followers have grown from
781 followers in March
803 followers in April
977 followers in May
and I’ve already smashed my target for June by hitting 1041 when I checked this morning. That’s a gain of 260 new followers in three months.

You may not be all about the numbers game but for me, with wanting to make more income from my blogging you do have to try and increase your followers.

So that’s when I started to focus on my hashtag use. I have three main areas that I cover on my blog and in my Instagram feed. Crafts, Lifestyle and Parenting. So I thought it would be helpful to break it down into three posts with a stronger focus on each of these three areas.

In my 100 hashtags for creative bloggers I have covered, general crafts, art and design, sewing, fabric design and paper crafts. These are my main interests in the creative world and should hopefully offer you some new hashtag choices. Obviously the more niche your creative pursuits are there will be a whole host of hashtags just for them but the general crafts ones should be helpful to all creative bloggers.

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 Lylia Rose

Pink Banana Smoothie recipe

Summer time is smoothie time for me and the kids. I am a smoothie fan all year round, but can find it hard to tempt the kids with any of the green smoothies I like for a boost in the colder months. However as soon as the abundance of summer fruit starts to arrive they love to start their day with one.

Pink banana smoothie is currently one of our favourites. Creamy, beautifully pink so the youngest loves it and like a glass full of summer energy a great way to begin the day.

To make the Pink Banana Smoothie you will need:

Serves 2

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 8 Strawberries at room temperature for maximum flavour
  • 150ml chilled apple juice.
  1. Wash and hull the strawberries.
  2. Add them to the smoothie maker jug.
  3. Peel and slice the bananas and add to the jug.
  4. Measure the apple juice and add.
  5. Blitz for a couple of minutes until thick, pink and creamy.
  6. Serve straight away.

For really hot days try using frozen strawberries to keep the smoothie really cold and add a tablespoon of maple syrup to increase the sweetness.
Or for an extra hearty smoothie, when you don’t have time to sit down for breakfast. Add a handful of gluten free porridge oats for slow release energy throughout the morning.

Have you got a good smoothie recipe? Please share them below.

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